Longines Cal.12.68Z 9ct 1951

£2,750

100% Genuine & All Original

Fully Inspected, Serviced and Guaranteed

A Well Cared For & Lightly Used Example

All in Absolutely Top Grade & Simply Stunning Condition

High Grade Cal.12.68Z, 17 Jewel Movement in Sparkling Condition

Good-sized 34mm Diameter Case, Excluding the Correct Unsigned Crown

Previously Restored Ivory-Cream Dial with Subsidiary Seconds Dial

Superb 9ct Yellow Gold Ribbed Case with Beautiful Straight Lugs

High Quality Brown Alligator Strap & Plain Gold-Plated Buckle

Complete with Original Longines Presentation Box & Papers

VGWL 12 Months’ Written Warranty Included*

VGWL Lifetime Authenticity Guarantee

Free Worldwide FedEx Delivery

Free UK Special Delivery

VGW Reference: L1440
Price £2,750

£2,750

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Longines

Longines is one of the oldest Swiss watch manufacturers with an unparalleled history of invention, innovation, patents and awards. The company is also responsible for some of the most beautiful watches ever made, but has been something of a Cinderella among the watch collecting fraternity until recently. Longines is now rightfully returning towards the elevated status it once held in the pre and post-war years when it ranked among the very best among of the Swiss watch manufacturers. It is really only within the past three years that Longines vintage watches have risen again to receive the admiration and popularity they deserve, with values rising of by around 15 – 20% per year, and on certain models, such as the now legendary Longines Calibre.13ZN chronograph, prices have sky-rocketed.

Description

Here we have a wonderful example of typical Longines elegance and style in the form of a beautiful 9ct gentleman’s dress watch from 1951. This was a period when technically, Longines was approaching its peak, competing head to head with all of the top-tier Swiss watch manufacturers. Notable highlights on this watch are its beautiful previously restored dial with original hands and the subsidiary seconds dial at 6 o’clock. The case and high grade Calibre 12.68Z movement are also in stunning condition.

The Dial

The dial is simply wonderful due to its age and excellent previously restored condition. It is typically 1950s in its use of a subsidiary seconds dial and thin ‘Lance’ style hands, matched with a mix of spearhead hour indices and standard Arabic Numerals at 3 – 6 – 9 – 12, all perfectly placed over a slightly cream dial. Longines always seems to aim and achieve dials which are that bit closer to perfection. It does this so often and so effortlessly.

Even the Longines signature looks more ‘in place’, which incidentally is the oldest registered, of any watch manufacturer. The company certainly made a fine art of this during the ’50s and ’60s. Perhaps the evolution of a certain style became part of the company’s DNA, but Longines dials seem in a class of their own. This sense of style has certainly won Longines many loyal customers, which only later came to appreciate the accuracy and reliability of its movements.

The dial is simple signed ‘Longines’ with ‘Swiss Made’ at the very bottom.

This watch has been previously restored to a very high standard and remains in outstanding condition.

The Movement

The watch carries its original Longines Cal.12.68Z, hand-wound movement which carries all the purity and charm typical of a top-class 1950s Swiss watch movement. This is one of the classic manually wound movements of its day, with 17 jewels, a running rate of 18,000 half beats per hour and a power reserve of 41 hours. It has every contemporary refinement, including a bi-metallic balance and an Incabloc shock protection, which was still a relatively recent introduction in early 1950.

If a dial defines the look of a vintage wristwatch, then it is the hand-built movements inside that are at its heart and makes them of such interest in the first instance. These minor miracles of micro-engineering were built long before the advent of CNC machines and computer-controlled polishing lines. While some machinery was obviously used in movement manufacture, it was of a very traditional nature supervised by specific individual craftsmen, exactly as had been the case since the 19th century. Each component was individually inspected and finished until it met with the watchmaker’s satisfaction and then gradually built up into a complete movement and regulated again by hand. If one really takes time to understand this process and the quality present in these classic watch movements by makers such as Longines, it really is breathtaking. This, of course, accounts for their high prices when new and the prices which good vintage examples command today.

Returning to the quality of finishing and build, this is exceptional and fair to say this is a better-finished movement than any equivalent watch offered by Rolex or Omega at the time. Unlike its two famous competitors, which simply fitted jewels into drilled holes in the bridges, Longines adopted the system of screwed chatons, by which every jewel is held in its own threaded brass sleeve, which is then in turn screwed into the plates. This is a lovely refinement that one hardly ever sees below the top tier and must have added significantly to the cost of production when new. The fact that vintage Longines watches are still so affordable today is hugely fortunate when we actually look at them closely and see how beautifully well made they are.

As can be seen, the movement is in absolutely tip-top condition following a thorough overhaul and service by our vintage Longines specialist watchmaker. This means the movement has been completely disassembled, cleaned, inspected and rebuilt using only original Longines parts where required, then carefully calibrated and tested. Upon return, this watch is now running to within +6 seconds per day which is absolutely outstanding for any vintage watch of this age. When fully wound, this movement also has a 41-hour power reserve.

These movements are very accurate and very reliable, making it completely practical and appropriate for regular everyday use. Our watchmaker has indicated this particular movement is in top condition and with regular servicing every 2 to 3 years, we would fully expect this watch to run very happily for many more decades to come! We are therefore very pleased to offer a 12-month warranty on this watch movement* and servicing in the future, as required. ‘Longines’ is signed on the bridge, together with ‘17 Jewels’ and ‘Swiss’. Also found here is the calibre number 12.68Z. All this detail has been painstakingly filled in with 9-carat gold in order to increase its legibility against the background. These points, though minor in themselves, elevate Longines movements of the time, to something which is a cut above the rest. The movement serial number is 8,757,126 indicating this watch was produced in 1951.

As always, our standard advice applies: Vintage Watches should be kept clean and dry at all times.

*Please note – our 12 months’ warranty is only applicable if the full list price is paid.

The Case

The styling of this model is absolutely classic and timeless. The 9ct yellow gold, large, round, ribbed case with straight lugs in absolutely wonderful, original condition and measures 34mm in diameter, excluding the correct, original unsigned crown.

The inside of the case-back is all marked correctly. At the top is ‘DS & S’ which was the sponsor’s mark of David Shackman & Sons. Based in Chesham, Buckinghamshire, Shackman was an independent case-making concern that supplied its products to most of the major Swiss houses for use on their watches that were to be sold in the UK.

Experienced collectors will also know Shackman cases well on Omega, Jaeger Le Coultre and more commonly, Rolex models from this era, which are very highly universally regarded for their high quality. Gold Swiss watches sold in Europe tended to have Swiss made cases, but those supplied to the British market were invariably UK made. This came about after the ban on the import of precious metal into the UK imposed by the British government in December 1916. Needing to service their most lucrative market, the Swiss houses skirted the obstacle by shipping only uncased movements to their UK agents and having these housed in British made cases upon arrival, these of course not being subject to any restriction. Long after the ban was lifted, this same arrangement continued, basically because it was so convenient for all involved. Ironically, given that they were first used as a temporary stopgap in a crisis, the quality of British made cases proved to be so high that they now typically command a slight price premium over their Swiss equivalents.

‘Baume’ is stamped exactly as it should be. Baume & Co, of 1 Hatton Garden, London, EC1, acted as official British agents for Longines since the World War I period. On an earlier watch, we would expect to find the initials “AB” inside the case-back, these being those of Arthur Baume, the company’s Managing Director. However, by the 1950s, the full Baume signature as seen here, was used instead.

On a watch clearly sold when new in the UK, we would expect to see a full set of British hallmarks. These are indeed here and inform us that this case was assayed as 9ct gold in London, 1951. The case-back also carries the case reference number 640.

The Strap & Buckle

A high quality brown alligator skin strap is fitted, along with a plain gold-plated buckle. However, if a different colour or style of strap is preferred, please do let us know and we will do our best to oblige, free of charge. We carry tan, conker, dark brown and black in stock in plain padded leather, crocodile skin or lizard skin, however we can also obtain most types and colours from our partners at ‘Watch Obsession’ within 48hrs. Please take a look at their huge range of straps if you wish here.

Box and Papers

Although there are no original papers with this watch, the reference numbers, markings, signatures and hallmarks are all correct, dating this watch to 1951.

Detailed particulars will be included with our purchase receipt for your interest and security. A separate insurance valuation for the replacement value of this watch will be provided at the time of sale along with our unique ‘Lifetime Authenticity Guarantee’ which states: “If this watch proves to be anything less than totally authentic, or not as described, Vintage Gold Watches of London will offer you a full refund at any time”.

This watch is complete with the original Longines presentation box and original papers, as shown in the photographs.

If you would like to pay by bank transfer we will be pleased to assist you with this and pass on a 3% saving to you. Paying by bank transfer for a 3% saving will not affect your 12 months warranty. Similarly, if you wish to pay by International SWIFT or Bank Wire Transfer we will provide you with our BIC / Swift number and our IBAN number.

Please check the import duties and any taxes your government may apply, these are different for each country and unfortunately out of our control.

We understand there may be some ‘loopholes’ that may help you avoid these charges, however attempting to use these could impact our ongoing ability to serve our growing international customer base.

For those that happen to visit the UK on occasion we are of course more than happy to store your watch until we can meet you in our offices in Kensington, London, and your watch directly to you there.

As with all our watches, this watch will be sold under our 14 days no quibble sale or return policy.

In Conclusion

We have always been great admirers of vintage Longines and for many years they have been significantly undervalued. However, this has begun to correct itself in recent years. There is no good reason for this, as these watches technically match or surpass almost all the high-end brands. Whatever the reason, they still represent excellent value even though prices have been increasing by around 20% per annum during the past few years.

The watch here is a superb example of a most beautiful and sought after vintage Longines. A rare, usable and highly collectable vintage gold gentleman’s dress watch, from one of horology’s most highly respected names which is a thing of beauty, to use, to wear, to treasure and to enjoy!

This watch will also make an excellent investment and family heirloom piece. Even though vintage Longines prices are still catching up with, for example, Omega, JLC and Rolex, we are sure fine examples such as this still remain undervalued. As each year goes by and the world market for vintage gold watches continues to expand, availability will become more limited, meaning prices are surely destined to climb ever higher!

A word on our prices – We always try our hardest to acquire the very highest quality watches we can find, before restoring them to the highest possible standards. We then offer these at the fairest prices we can, taking into account our pre and post-sales care and service. This approach means we will never be the cheapest, but nor will we be the most expensive. Indeed there are some well-known stores in West London which are highly successful charging between two to three times the price you see here. We, therefore, consider our prices to be fair, given the quality of watches we have to offer.

Please note, we also welcome part exchanges. If you have a watch or a small collection for sale, please contact us as we will be happy to discuss this.

We will also be happy to Service your watch, Repair your watch or Restore your watch, all at ‘sensible’ prices. Please see here.

If you have any questions please call us on 020 7727 7095 or if calling from overseas on +44 207 727 7095.

Please take a look at our other fine vintage gold watches.

Thank you.